HuffPost UK Lifestyle spoke to Scott, who said: "People obviously respond to the blatant cuteness, but there is also a more serious, humane subtext in the book. The introduction and index focus on educating people about puppy mills. I like to think that people come for the cuteness and leave with unexpected knowledge!"
The puppy mills Scott refers to are large scale breeding farms which tend to view profit as more important than the actual welfare of the dogs. Hence they tend to be poorly treated and neglected.
Talking about what inspired the project, she said: "I was pregnant with my daughter when I first had the idea for Newborn Puppies. I guess you could say that I had babies on the brain and it occurred to me that despite the prolific dog and puppy photography books available, no one had really done a series focusing on newborn dogs.
"The first three weeks of a dog’s life is such a lovely and fragile time that most people never get to see. I am involved with a lot of rescue groups and so I started doing some test shoots at shelters and then branched out to networking with breeders, shelters and rescue groups all over New England. It was important to me to show a large variety of breeds and mixes. In the book, there are puppies that come from champion bloodlines next to strays that were dumped outside the doors of shelters, but they are all equally beautiful and look remarkably similar when they’re very young."
Unlike humans, however, dogs don't sit pretty for the camera. So how difficult did she find it?
"Shooting this book was actually more challenging that I had first anticipated because unlike older dogs, newborn puppies generally have very limited mobility and expressiveness.
"In many cases, their eyes are still closed and they cannot yet walk, so really you just have to let them wriggle around in a “puppy pile” with their siblings and photograph what happens organically. They don’t know “sit” and they don’t yet respond to food cues, so really there is very little control over what happens in front of the camera."
Take a look at some of the cutest shots:
Newborn Puppies: Dogs in Their First Three Weeks by Traer Scott, published by Chronicle Books, available here.
Earlier on HuffPost:
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